Many things have been said about the 4C hair type, and most of them are negative things. Many are of the opinion that it is the most difficult and unmanageable hair type there is. Well, those are opinions, and they can be wrong. I believe that all hair types are beautiful, including the 4C hair type. You just have to know how to care for it. And throw in a lot of patience and tender loving care along the way.
So you are a newbie natural, and you want to know if you have the 4c hair type? Well, not to toot my own horn, you have come to the right place. Lol. Welcome.
There are a lot of hair typing systems on the internet today. And one can easily get confused and whelmed with them if you are new to the natural hair journey.
From the different hair charts, we see that hair types are placed in categories from type 1 to 4. This post will cover what the 4c hair type is, how to care for it, style it, and more. Ready? Let’s go.
What do you know about Natural hair typing systems?
There are different hair typing systems, such as the LOIS system, the Andre Walker system, and many others. However, the predominant and most popular hair typing system is that of Andre Walkers. Also, his typing system was the first to include type 4 hair.
You should know that hair typing systems are not the holy grail of hair identification; they are not ironclad and perfect. However, they are useful in determining one’s hair pattern.
See also: My natural hair journey
The Importance of hair typing
Hair typing systems are essential in helping naturals with different hair types to care for their curls, coils, and kinks properly.
And, hair typing has greatly influenced the manufacture and use of natural hair products. Accordingly, there are recommended products for each hair type.
Most importantly, it would be best if you did not use the hair typing to negatively compare natural hair.
Please and please, we all have good hair. You just need to know how to care for your hair. And manipulate it effectively to be anything you want.
You are a beautiful African queen or king (Yea, I have some male readers who want to grow out their hair too) with gorgeous hair!
A simple way to explain hair types
The simplest way to understand a hair type chart is to know that:
Type 1 hair is generally straight
Type 2 hair is generally wavy
Type 3 hair is generally curly
Type 4 hair is generally coily/kinky
NB: Coils are used to describe tightly curled hair. Also, people use curls, coils, and kinky interchangeably. They can mean the same thing, but the difference is in the diameters. As curls are big and loose, while coils and kinky mean tightly coiled, imagine the spring of a ballpoint pen here.
Each hair type category further classifies the hair into sub-categories A, B, C. This shows the hair type according to the size of the curl pattern. While curl patterns can seem identical, they are very distinct, and each needs different attention and care.
There are three distinct sub-categories of Category 4 hair: 4A, 4B, and 4C
The 4c hair type is tightly coiled. And most people believe that it is the most challenging type of hair to care for, as it can be hard to style. Also, it is naturally dry, has little structure, and needs regular maintenance. However, I don’t believe this. People who say this don’t have the patience to care for type 4 hair. It blooms when it is correctly cared for.
Type 4 hair is the most versatile of all hair types. And, it can be anything you want, today it’s straight, tomorrow you have this magnificent afro, the next day you are rocking Bantu knots, and the next you are carrying a fantastic twist out with your curls popping!
When you know how to style your hair properly, you can make your hair be like any other hair type. Sadly, other hair types cannot style their hair like ours. So be proud of your hair, coil-friend!
How to know if you have the 4C Hair type
The 4C hair type is the twin of 4B, but the coils are tightly kinked. And this is why you can see 4b hair type mixed with 4C hair type on an individual’s head.
After the 4C hair type is washed and left in its natural state, the hair has no definition with no added products. You will have to use styling techniques such as braiding or twisting the strands to clump together and show coil definition.
Moreover, the 4C hair type can vary from fine to thin to soft to coarse hair strands. Also, this hair type shrinks 75 – 80 per cent when left on its own.
Shrinkage can be both annoying and a good thing. It’s annoying when your 10 inches hair will be looking like 2 inches hair when your hair is not stretched. And it is a good thing because it indicates that your hair is healthy.
Furthermore, of all the types of hair, the 4C hair type is the most delicate. And its texture varies, from thin to thick. Also, some people may have soft 4c hair, and others very hard and dry 4c hair. Additionally, 4c hair type can vary from person to person due to genetics, lifestyle choices, hormones, e.t.c.
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How to care for the 4C hair type
Through the years, several recommendations on how to care for the 4C hair have surfaced. However, you need to remember that even if you have similar hair types with someone, what works for them, may not work for you. Please remember this when you decide to try some of these tips.
The best way to figure out what works for your 4C hair type is to observe how your hair reacts to any new product or method of caring for it for one to two months before you can decide if a method or product works. Also, keep in mind that you have to be consistent with any hair care practice before you can see results.
Below are some conventional tips for caring for the 4C hair type:
♥ Endeavour to Moisturize your hair regularly and seal with hair oils or butters to keep the moisture locked in. You don’t have to spend money on moisturizers; water can do the trick ( I don’t think anything hydrates better than water). Or you can go the extra mile to mix your spray water with aloe vera gel. It works wonders.
♥ To avoid hair breakage, split ends, and single strand knots, endeavour to sleep with a satin scarf or bonnet. A silk scarf serves the same purpose too.
♥ Detangle on damp hair only; this helps to minimize breakage. You can also use coconut oil on your damp hair when you want to detangle; it helps melt the knots away quickly.
♥ On washdays, use creamy shampoos and conditioners to wash your hair, as they provide extra moisture for your kinky texture. Please use sulfate-free shampoos for your hair to reduce hair breakage and moisture loss.
♥ Deep condition regularly, especially on wash days, to improve hair elasticity and moisture retention.
♥ Do not overuse styling products as this will lead to frizzy, dry, and dull hair, and no one wants that. Moderation is key.
♥ To stop unnecessary tangling and single strand knots from forming, keep your hair stretched or detangled as much as possible.
♥ Wear low maintenance styles such as twists, braids, buns, twist/braid outs.
♥ Brushes and small tooth combs are not friends of your hair type; using them will increase your hair breakage.
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How to style the 4C hair type
There are different natural hairstyles for your 4C hair. And you can choose the one that protects your hair and suits your style. When picking out styles, consider how much time you have to style your hair every day, and choose a style that fits into your schedule, and you will be comfortable rocking it.
Here is a list of ideas for styles from which you can choose (NB: This is not an exhaustive list; there are so many other styles, you can even create yours. Your hair affords you the liberty to be creative with it):
The hair type of each queen is different. You can have full 4C hair, a mixture of 4C and 4B hair, or a mixture of all type 4 hair, 4A, 4B, and 4C. Regardless of your hair type, hair texture, density, length, please love and nourish your curls, kinks, and coils. And never forget that you’re beautiful and unique.
I wish you all the best on your hair journey.
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Till next time,
Stay be’you’tiful, stay blessed.
NB: You can contact me directly via mail at [email protected] I will be happy to hear about your hair journey. And exchange contacts with you so we can support ourselves on this journey. You are not alone.